Premises liability refers to the liability of a property owner or occupier to another person for a physical injury caused by an unsafe condition existing within the property. Injuries that fall under premises liability are often referred to as “slip and fall” injuries because these types of injuries often occur from a plaintiff who fell and was injured due to a slippery or unstable condition on the floor. However, these injuries are not only caused by dangerous conditions on the floor. Premises liability may arise from injuries caused by any condition on the property. Lawyer and personal injury attorney Adam Kielich stands up for people who have been injured by dangerous property conditions in Dallas and Fort Worth.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries
In retail stores and restaurants the floor can be covered with spilled food and drinks, merchandise and other slippery conditions that can cause a person to slip and injure themselves. These injuries do not always occur on flat surfaces, they can occur on stairs and ramps, which can be particularly dangerous. Property owners have a duty of care to their guests to make sure the floors are not hazardous. This includes cleaning spilled liquids, removing items obstructing safe walkways, repairing torn carpets and mats, and posting signs of dangerous conditions (such as wet floor signs).
The duty of care extends beyond interior floors. Property owners have a duty to provide safe areas outside or at very least to notify guests of dangerous conditions outside. This includes taking steps to remove ice and snow from walkways and repairing holes and damaged steps. Even shared exterior space, such as shopping center walkways, must be kept in a safe condition by the property owner and businesses operating in the shopping center.
Individuals have the same duties to their social guests, whether they live in a house, apartment, town home, condo, or mobile home. Individuals have to provide safe conditions for social guests and alert their guests of any dangerous condition that may not be immediately fixed. You can be injured in a home by broken steps, falling items, icy driveways and other conditions.
Falling objects can be just as dangerous
Wal-mart began its “falling prices” advertising campaign in the 1990s with black and yellow construction theme, as though the falling prices were so dangerous you needed to be on the alert for objects falling on your head. They were right. You do need to be on alert for objects falling on your head. Wal-mart shoppers are at risk of objects falling on their head, neck and shoulders from the tops of displays, shelving units and other high reaching storage space on the retail floor. Of course, Wal-mart isn’t the only store accused of falling merchandise injuring customers. Merchandise is at risk of falling on customers in any store or office where objects are displayed or stored above eye level. These injuries can and do happen to customers at other businesses. Property owners, businesses and homeowners, have a duty to protect their guests from dangerous risks above the guests as much as they do from the risks below their guests’ feet.
Slip and fall injuries can be very serious
Many people first think of a slip and fall injury as a minor stumble that gives the victim an excuse to claim fictitious injuries to make a lot of money off of nothing. While there are always going to be some people trying to make a dishonest buck, slip and fall accidents can be very dangerous. In most cases, a slip and fall will result in no injury or a very minor injury that requires no medical attention. In a few cases, serious physical injury can occur. In the case of an actual fall the victim may have minor to substantial injury to hip, pelvis, legs and back. The victim may also have upper body or arm injuries based upon how he or she fell. When falling objects are involved, serious head, neck, shoulder and back injuries are common. These injuries may be minor, from slight bruising to permanent injury and even death.
Slip and fall injury claims are challenging but can be won
Under Texas law, a slip and fall victim must prove that the property owner or business operating on the property, had “actual knowledge” of the condition that caused the injury. That means the responsible party had to know about the condition and refuse to take appropriate steps to remove the danger or that the responsible party created the dangerous condition. This is not easy to prove because the responsible party rarely will admit knowledge of the condition and its employees may fear losing their job for admitting the truth. Texas courts have also interpreted the law very generously for property owners and businesses so it is very hard to win these cases. That has made the property owners, businesses and their insurers very aggressive in refusing to settle these cases. That means trying to represent yourself in these cases is almost a guarantee that you will lose. Your choice is really between walking away with your own medical bills to pay (if you can pay them) or hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you and stand up to the responsible party.
The Kielich Law Firm can stand up for your rights and demand the compensation for your injuries that you are due. You do not have to accept the dismissing attitude of the responsible party that they are not to blame for your injuries. The responsible party wants to shirk responsibility for what has happened to you. That is unacceptable. You have the legal right to compensation for your injuries. The responsible party does not have the right to be lazy and allow injuries to occur on its property. Contact my office today so we can discuss how to reach just compensation for your injuries.